Palace insinuates Robredo ‘fabricating’ findings on drug war

MANILA MalacaAang on Thursday insinuated that Vice President Leni Robredo is taking her time releasing the findings on the Duterte administration's campaign against illegal drugs because she is still fabricating them.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo questioned why Robredo decided to release her discoveries only after being fired as co-chair Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) and not earlier.

Kung nandiyan ka sa loob ng gobyerno, head ka ng agency, natuklasan mo may iregularidad (If you work with the government, you're head of an agency, and you discovered irregularities) you will keep your mouth shut? Of course not. Immediately may presscon ka (You'll call for a presscon), Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

Panelo also raised doubts on the legitimacy of the findings because it seemed that she was taking too long to release them.

Why is she taking so long? Dahil ba kasi may nagpe-prepare na iba sa kanya? Ano yung report na 'yun? Kasi kung may natuklasan ka agad e di immediately, palagi naman siya nagpe-presscon, di sinabi niya na sana (Is it because somebody else is preparing it for her? What report is that? Because if you discover something, you would immediately call for a presscon, you would have bared it by now), Panelo said.

Asked to clarify if he is insinuating that Robredo's findings on the anti-narcotics campaign could be fabricated, Panelo said: Presumably.

Kung totoong meron, bakit di niya inilabas noon pa? Dahil ba meron silang ginagawang multong nililikha nila (If there really are irregularities, why didn't she release them before? Is it because she's cooking up something)? Panelo said.

Meanwhile, Panelo said whatever discovery Robredo had to reveal was least likely a secret because the anti-drug agencies have provided her with access to all classified information.

He insisted that the President appointed her because he had nothing to hide.

Kung may tinatago, bakit ba papapasukin sa loob para matuklasan mo? Walang common sense dun (If we were hiding anything, why would the President appoint you and allow you to discover them? It has no common sense), Panelo said.

Panelo, in an interview with ANC, said Robredo should have just resigned the moment the President said he did not completely trust her.

Ang naging problema pa kasi kay VP, after that - noong sinabi ni Presidente (The problem with the VP is that when the President said) 'I cannot trust her with classified information'. Siguro kung ako iyon (If that were me), I would have resigned already, automatically, Panelo said.

When there is mistrust to you as an appointee, delicadeza requires you to submit resignation. Pero ang ginawa niya (But what she did, she said), 'Kung ayaw mo sa akin eh di sabihin mo (If you don't like me anymore, just say it).' That's very rude, he added.

He said the President still trusted Robredo enough to appoint her as anti-drug czar but lost trust in her the moment she committed missteps such as talking with representatives from the US and United Nations who have already prejudged the drug war.

Ang announcement mo sa public ay marami kang kakausapin. Bakit mga foreigners ang kakausapin mo (Your announcement to the public is you will be speaking with institutions and personalities. Why are you speaking to foreigners)? he added.

The Palace also denied that Duterte made a miscalculation by daring Robredo to take on the challenge of being drug czar only to be shocked she would accept it.

No, it was not a miscalculation. You must remember that this President is a master tactician. He would not have been President, he would have not won all the elections that he ran into, if he is not that good, Panelo said.

When you criticize something na that's bad, I'm sure mayroon ka ng idea na 'ito ang gawin mo; ito ang good, mali iyang ginagawa mo eh' (you have an idea how to improve it; 'this is good; what you're doing is wrong'). Pero (But) she never did that. She never presented any scheme, he added.

Panelo said Robredo had only presented her plans to improve anti-illegal drug campaign days after the President criticized her for her missteps.

Duterte appointed Robredo as anti-drug czar on October 31 to help co-chair Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino in overseeing the implementation of all policies, laws, and issuances on the government's anti-narcotics campaign.

He fired Robredo on Sunday after failing to present new solutions to stop the illegal drug trade and daring or taunting him to tell her if he wanted her out. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency